T Nation

Partial Rotator Tears

I have 3 partial rotator cuff tears. Back in February I was lifting a bag, 40lbs and felt pain in my shoulder. A few days later it felt better so I lifted it again and the pain was excruciating, radiating up through my neck. The pain was a 10/10 for a week so finally I went to a walk-in clinic and was diagnosed with Torticollis. Given anti inflammatory ens and sent on my way. 3 weeks later pain was still unbearable so went to my PCP who ordered a MRI of my neck, which was negative, and sent to a spine dr. The spine dr wanted to put steroid injections into my cervical disks, which made me uncomfortable so I went for a second opinion. 2nd dr thought it was a trapezius muscle tear and sent me to physical therapy for 3 weeks, this made the pain worse. Finally got an MRIof my shoulder 3 weeks ago which showed the 3 partial tears.

All along all these drs told me not to restrict the use of my shoulder and to carry on as usual.

After MRI, I got a cortisone shot in that shoulder Tuesday. Felt good, first time I was pain free since February, again, was told no restrictions, carry on as usual. Yesterday, I did some weeding and today I am paying for it. Shoulder hurts as bad as it ever did.
Every article I’ve read says to limit use and rest the shoulder, contrary to whT docs have been telling me.

I follow up with Dr in 3 weeks, don’t know if I can live with this pain again. It’s making me so depressed. I feel like they all think I’m making it up, drug seeking, or whatever. It really does hurt.
From anyone’s experience, what is going to give me the best pain relief long term?

This post hits home. I’ve been through similar situations 3 times. Each time the doc did cortisone and sent me to PT, which basically did bugger all. As soon as I started lifting again within a month I was right back where I started.

So … finally I decided these types of injuries need a long time to recover . I took 12 months off all upper body training except for dedicated rotator cuff work. I still did leg work which stopped me from becoming a lazy shit.

It’s been 4 months now and I’m back to lifting heavy. The only thing I have restricted is heavy bench presses since I think that’s where I hurt myself before.

Just a thought, 12 months is a long time, but I was desperate.

1 Like

Despite what others may tell you, tendon tears do not heal themselves, they must be surgically repaired. Ask me how I know this? I’ve had 3 RC repairs now in the last 12 years. In fact, I just got released from PT on July 5th.

I dont know why your Doctors are all idiots but you need to find a good sports medicine orthopedic surgeon to repair your RC. After surgery you will be immobilzed for 6 weeks, then slowly, your physical therapist will begin to move your shoulder to start flexibility. PT can take up to 3 months going about twice a week.

This was me on Jan 28 the day of surgery

This is me on July11th

Don’t mess around. Get this fixed.

OK. Good advice. I follow up with the Dr. next week. The cortisone shot worked great for about a week. As long as I don’t use the arm it feels good. If I use it, to vacuum, weed, move heavy things, I pay for it for days!

Glad your better! Thanks for responding. !!

Yes, like @studhammer said… get it looked after and get it fixed. If it’s fully torn there is no other option than surgery. When partially torn, it tells you something about the condition of the tendon structure and big chances are it will tear off in the future. So 1) get a good doctor/surgeon to get it fixed and 2) afterwards see a physiotherapist to help you with rehabilitation.

Every doctor who wants to give you a shot of cortisones is a dumbass! It may relief you from some pain, but the state of the tissue will worsen even more and eventually you will pay the price.

im about have surgery for rotator cuff and Labral tear , i injured it trying to get back in shape so instead of laying around in bed for the next 6 weeks I want to work out safely. So what can I do other than walk with out injuring something else

After surgery you will be immobilized for 6 weeks in a brace. But you can and should work out the other arm, lightly of course but it will improve your recovery. Legs are a good choice to.

Make sure you have a good PT and ask them to take you to performance level before releasing you. Obviously insurance will have a say in this but I went to PT for almost 3 months

Ive had a partial. 100% agree you need surgery. I had 3 years of pain before i got round to it.
After surgery i was 0 movements for 2 weeks, then out of the sling by the end of 4 weeks then old man movements by the end if week 6. By week 10/12 i was in the gym (after a 3 year lay off).

Just go slow. I did and whilst the shoulder is not 100% its pretty fecking good.